Breakthrough Days: Future of Food

Through innovation and efficiencies, the agri-food sector has met an ever increasing global demand over the last century. However, agriculture and associated land use represent nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and use about 70% of freshwater resources across our increasingly water-stressed globe. And, as over 820 million people go hungry, around 2 billion more lack sufficient micronutrients and another 2.5 billion consume excess calories for their needs, the question remains, have current food systems been effective? Sustainable? Inclusive? Healthy?

Join us in our efforts to harness the power of AI and ML to transition towards more regenerative, inclusive, nutritious and resilient food systems.

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

    Executive Director
    Stone Barns Center
    Lauren Yarmuth is the Executive Director of Stone Barns Center. Trained as an architect, but seasoned as an entrepreneur, her approach to change is grounded in the principles of regeneration with an emphasis on global food systems. Lauren is a systems-thinker with a bent for bringing together diverse stakeholders, and designing for widely beneficial outcomes. Before joining Stone Barns Center, Lauren served as Director of Circular Economy at IDEO where her work centered around the role of design in addressing issues such as waste, human behaviors, and business innovation. Prior to IDEO Lauren co-founded YR&G (now WSP), a prominent global sustainability consultancy, which she ran for nearly a decade. She also served as faculty at Columbia University, where she taught a masters-level course on sustainable technologies. Lauren is a passionate educator and public speaker known for energizing a room as she explores provocative and varying ideas in an effort to make them real and personal. Lauren holds a degree in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design.
    Founder & Lead Partner
    Lorin is an expert on the future of food systems with over 15 years of experience. Prior to founding FutureTable she served as Head of Food Systems Collaboration at the World Economic Forum. She has advised Fortune 500 businesses, start-ups, international organizations, family foundations and NGOs. She speaks regularly at conferences and has published insights including with the Harvard Business Review, Harvard Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, and via a regular Forbes column on how technology and innovation can improve our food systems. Lorin received a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
    Global Director of Open Innovation & Circular Economy of Food
    A passionate Circular Economy scholar, system thinker, activist and intrapreneur (with over 15 years of experience in design and innovation in the food industry). 'I made it my mission to be a driving force in a food revolution, a paradigm shift. I believe in a future of food as a force for good. I want to leave a world, in which economic, social and ecological interests are aligned. Food can fuel this system shift through innovation, the adaptive power of the system, towards a resilient food system with a positive impact, by design.' Merijn holds a Bachelor in Industrial Design Engineering and studies Circular Economy at the Bradford School of Management as one of the first to specialize in the Circular Economy for Food. 'I strive to further the understanding and catalyzing the adoption of Circular Economy principles in food and the food industry, every day, leading Open Innovation and Circular Economy at Danone.
    Lead, Food initiative
    Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    Emma Chow serves as the project lead on the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Food initiative, which brings together major industry players from across the food value chain, along with city municipalities, to take a systemic approach to unlocking the powerful positive potential of the food system. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Emma previously worked in business management consulting, social entrepreneurship and for environmental NGOs.
    Director of Global Programs for Real Estate & Workplace Services
    As the Director of Global Programs for Real Estate & Workplace Services, Bakker leads Google’s renowned workplace programs and services such as food, transportation, events, guest services, sustainability, placemaking as well as fitness, massage and well-being. Bakker is focused on providing integrated offerings and experiences that enable Google to thrive. He is also focused on supporting the growth and future of Google through the scaling of these programs, ongoing innovation and partnerships.   Bakker has spent over 25 years in global hotel and food and beverage operations, creating and building out partnerships, hotel F&B developments, openings, and food experience design. Before joining Google, Bakker worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide  in various roles for 17 years. From 2012 to 2017, Bakker led Google’s Food program, supporting all food service related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community as well as developing internal and external partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities of the broader food systems.  Bakker continues to be very involved in the ever-evolving and growing intersection of food, health, and sustainability through various roles and organizations around the world such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development  Food and Nature Board, the EAT Forum Advisory Board,, the Yale School of Management Center for Customer Insights' Advisory Board and the Culinary Institute of America’s Menus of Change Business Leadership Council. Bakker holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands), an MBA from the University of Bradford (United Kingdom), a Master’s of Hospitality Administration degree from the University of Nevada (USA) and a Master’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver (USA).  
    Senior Associate
    Caroline Kolta comes to the XPRIZE Foundation with over 5 years of experience in development programming in the Middle East and North Africa. As a member of the Global Impact Strategy team, she will contribute to XPRIZE’s prize design and global impact strategies and processes. Prior to joining XPRIZE, she worked with the Carter Center, UNICEF, and other nonprofits as a researcher, program officer, and policy advisor. She is interested advancing human rights and freedoms, civic engagement, and empowering marginalized populations. She holds a Bachelor of Political Science from Cairo University and a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution and Coexistence from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
    Chairman Of The Board, Social Finance NL
    Social Finance NL
    Annemieke Roobeek is Professor of Strategy and Transformation Management at Nyenrode Business University, The Netherlands. Annemieke Roobeek is a strong advocate for integrating SDG’s in strategy. She argues for more space in strategy development for younger generations with their high-tech networking skills as an important source of innovation. In her company MeetingMoreMinds she is a designer of business ecosystems around challenging issues, like healthy society, circular economy and feeding megacities. At GrwNxt she is the CEO and conceptualizer for novel ways to apply deep tech to fresh food production. www.grwnxtcom. As a non-executive director she has more than 20 years of experience supervising internationally operating companies in a broad range of industries from health care to responsible finance. Annemieke Roobeek is known for her independence of spirit, her energy and entrepreneurial innovative drive. “Innovation means going over the edge. Otherwise everything would remain as it is. Innovation for me is to dare to consciously do things differently. You know in advance that it will take a lot of hard work. Networking, collaboration and developing the ecosystem are crucial to succeed together for a greater good you can do by yourself.”
    Founder & CEO, UCOT
    Chris is an Engineer and an award-winning repeat-entrepreneur. He is the Founder/ CEO of UCOT a pioneer movement solving the intended & unintended negative consequences of AI and other technologies. The company also created a unique model to support and fund early-stage startups creating solutions to unintended consequences of technologies. Before that, he founded Hourglass ventures a fund that supports visionary entrepreneurs from the African continent who come from the underprivileged background- and need a Friends and Family round of financing to get their ideas off the ground. Professionally, Chris is certainly a proven entrepreneur. Impressed with his work, in 2015 President Obama invited him to the White House. In 2011, The Great Muhammadi Ali awarded Chris with a Humanitarian award and invited him to his hometown in Louisville KY. He has been invited to speak at prestigious platforms such as TED, the World Economic Forum, and the United Nations. Chris has won many international awards for his work; most recently he was named TED Fellow & World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. His work has been featured in many major media publications both locally and internationally such as BBC, Forbes, and NPR. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science, and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
    Co-Founder, Food Tank
    Food Tank
    Danielle Nierenberg, a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. In 2013, Danielle Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank with Bernard Pollack, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Food Tank is a global convener, research organization, and non-biased creator of original research impacting the food system. Food Tank’s Summits, held across the United States and expanding internationally, have hosted hundreds of speakers and sold-out audiences of thousands of participants, with hundreds of thousands joining via livestream reaching millions across social media. The Summits are one of the most important forums bringing together all sides of food issues for critical discussion partnered with major universities and moderated by major food journalists including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, National Public Radio, and dozens more. Food Tank is also publishing original articles daily and partners with over 70 major organizations including academic institutions like George Washington University and Tufts; U.N. organizations like the FAO, UNEP, and IFAD; funding and donor community organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Christensen Fund; and global nonprofits such as Slow Food USA and Oxfam America. Danielle also conducts extensive on-the-ground research, traveling to more than 70 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. She has met with thousands of farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, as well as journalists, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty while protecting the environment. Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 20,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CBS This Morning, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Le Monde (France), the Mail and Guardian (South Africa), the East African (Kenya), TIME magazine, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, the Times of India, the Sydney Morning Herald, and hundreds more. Danielle speaks at more than 100 events per year, including major conferences and events all over the world. These events include SXSW, TED, The World Food Prize/Borlaug Dialogues, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference, James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s International Forum on Food and Nutrition, Edible Institute, Milan Urban Food Pact Awards, Aspen Institute Environment Forum, the European Commission, the Chicago Council Global Food Security Symposium, National Geographic’s Food Forum, the Sustainable Food Summit, the Hilton Humanitarian Awards, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming, New York Times Food for Tomorrow, BITE, and many others. She has built a worldwide social media and web following of more than 1,200,000 including 350,000 weekly newsletter subscribers from 190 countries; 360,000 combined Facebook fans; and 600,000 combined Twitter followers, and 31,000 on Instagram. Danielle is the recipient of the 2020 Julia Child Award. She has an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.
    Founder and Partner, Original Strategies
    Original Strategies
    A social impact entrepreneur and authentic leader, Debra Eschmeyer has dedicated her career to the betterment of society. As a Founder and Partner of Original Strategies, she advises leaders on how to drive meaningful impact. Deb is also a Senior Fellow and Head of Innovation at the Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems at Arizona State University. She served as the Vice President of Communications & Community Affairs for Danone North America, the largest Certified B Corp in the world. Eschmeyer was the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative and senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition. Prior to serving in the Obama Administration, she co-founded the national nonprofit FoodCorps and started an organic fruit and vegetable farm in her hometown in rural Ohio. Fortune and Food & Wine selected Eschmeyer as one of “The Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink” permanently changing the way we eat and how we think about food. Eschmeyer is a recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award and the Xavier University Magis Award.
    Robert S. Lawrence Professor & Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Martin W. Bloem, MD, PhD, is the inaugural Robert S. Lawrence Professor and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He joined the Center in 2017, after 12 years as a senior nutrition adviser at the United Nations World Food Programme and as a Global Coordinator for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. At the Center, he is guiding research and programs to adopt a global view of food systems problems, emphasizing the needs of undernourished, low-income populations. Hailing from the Netherlands, Martin earned his medical degree from the University of Utrecht and his doctorate in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maastricht. His career includes posts in the Netherlands, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and Italy. He has co-authored and co-edited seven books and more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles.
    Co-Founder, Digital Green
    Digital Green
    Rikin Gandhi is co-founder of Digital Green, a global development organization that empowers smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the collective power of digital technology and grassroots-level partnerships. Rikin began his career at Oracle, where he received patents for linguistic search algorithms that he helped develop. Later he joined Microsoft Research's Technology for Emerging Markets team in India, where he researched ways to amplify the effectiveness of agricultural development globally. In partnership with government ministries of agriculture and rural development, Digital Green uses peer-to-peer farming videos to increase the efficiency of agricultural extension services and a shared logistics to market service to boost farmer incomes. Digital Green is building FarmStack as an open platform to enable the 2 million smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that it has already worked with to control and share their own data with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, Walmart Foundation, and others. Rikin has a bachelor’s in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, a master’s in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from MIT, and is a licensed private pilot.
    Founder of Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl
    Better Food Ventures
    Rob Trice is the Founder of Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl. He is leveraging fifteen years in mobile, internet and telecom venture capital to pursue the application of information technology to food and agriculture challenges. Better Food Ventures funds innovators using information technology to make positive impact now in food and agriculture. The Mixing Bowl is a forum to connect food, agriculture and IT innovators for thought leadership. Rob previously worked at global VC funds, including Swisscom Ventures, SK Telecom Ventures and what are now NGP Capital and BlueRun Ventures. Prior to his days in venture capital, he worked at DIRECTV in LA & Tokyo and at a DC-based think-tank, The Center for Strategic & International Studies. He also co-founded the non-profit Corporate Innovators Huddle; is Chair of San Francisco-based engaged philanthropy organization, Full Circle Fund; on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Food, Ag & Environmental Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; a Founding Advisor to the Innovation Institute for Food & Health at UC Davis; a Member of the Farm Foundation’s Program Committee; on the US Farmers & Ranchers in Action Honor the Harvest Advisory Board; a member of the Google Food Lab; and an Advisor to the Mista food optimizer. Rob splits his time between Menlo Park and Pescadero, CA.
    Founder & President, Future Food Network
    Future Food Network
    Sara is an experienced entrepreneur, thought leader and disrupter in food ecosystem. She works with globally recognised high-profile think tanks on setting the agenda for the sustainable food industry. She’s often a sparring partner of key decision makers in business and government institutions. For the last 10 years, Sara’s focused on inspiring and empowering creative and responsible food entrepreneurs through educational programs and disruptive innovation experiences. She is also a director of Future Food Institute – a non-profit organization with a mission to take creative and responsible food entrepreneurs to the next level of achievement through education, research projects and disruptive innovation experiences (as hackathon) – and You Can Group – founded in 2003, a group of 30 companies (with over 200 bright and dynamic individuals) focused on digital, design & food. Sara wears many hats in her career – entrepreneur, business founder, strategist, educator, director and leader.
    Head of Food Systems Innovation, World Economic Forum
    World Economic Forum
    Saswati Bora is the Head of Food Systems Innovation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) where she heads WEF's two global initiatives on technology innovations and incentives to address food systems challenges as well as the food and agriculture regional work in India. Saswati has almost two decades of experience in developing and leading ambitious agendas on food systems, innovation, sustainable agriculture, and rural development, with a strong track record in catalyzing and driving several prominent global and regional initiatives. Before WEF, Saswati worked in the agriculture and rural development department of the World Bank where she helped set up two key global initiatives - the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) and the Global Food Crisis Program (GFRP). Saswati has also worked previously as a researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington DC, UNDP offices in Nepal and New York, and as a journalist with a daily newspaper in Mumbai. She is the recipient of the Global Leadership Fellowship of the World Economic Forum, a distinctive leadership development program that combines a position at the Forum with academic training, coaching and on-the-job learning. She is also the youngest winner of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties award in India for best human rights journalism in 2000 for a series of six stories on prison systems in India. Saswati has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, a Bachelors degree in Economics from Delhi University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Communications from Sophia Polytechnic in Mumbai.

Hourly Schedule

Tuesday 22 September

19:15 - 20:45
Day 1: Project presentations

Wednesday 23 September

19:15 - 20:45
Day 2: Prize-design workshop

Thursday 24 September

19:15 - 20:45
Day 3: Gathering resources/support
Senior Associate
Through innovation and efficiencies, the agri-food sector has met an ever increasing global demand over the last century. However, agriculture and associated land use represent nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and use about 70% of freshwater resources across our increasingly water-stressed globe. And, as over 820 million people go hungry, around 2 billion more lack sufficient micronutrients and another 2.5 billion consume excess calories for their needs, the question remains, have current food systems been effective? Sustainable? Inclusive? Healthy? Join us in our efforts to harness the power of AI and ML to transition towards more regenerative, inclusive, nutritious and resilient food systems.


22 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020


CEST, Geneva
19:15 - 20:45

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